Practicing what we teach

2:04 PM

Lately I have either witnessed or read or been told of certain situations that have left my jaw on the floor in regards to the adults in the story. Not so much because of the circumstances in the story but more because of their attitude about the story and the other people in it.

Is it just me or are we all just a little too defensive? Is it a general trait that adults have a problem apologizing when they hurt someone or is it just the people I seem to have contact with?

One of the prime lessons I am working on with the girls is The Golden Rule: treat others how you want to be treated. This is a Biblical lesson, although most people whether they are believers or not think this lesson is a valid life lesson.

For their child to learn.

But apparently once you become an adult you can throw all of that out the window and go through life never apologizing or taking responsibility. In fact you can always just say that the other person was too sensitive or that you were right anyway, etc.

On one hand I get it. Apologizing is not my favorite thing. Never has been. I seem to clam up and my head screams in pain with the words that have to be formed with my mouth. But guess what I have learned: apologizing will not kill me. In fact, it makes me stronger.

The other night I held onto Firecracker's arm as she slid off the high bar chairs we have. I thought she was good and let go just as she decided to be funny and make a dance move to the side. Of course she fell to the left and hit her cheek against the dishwasher. I am sure it hurt a little although the fall was really nothing compared to what everyone does at the park. Still, she cried. Now, my inner reaction is to tell her, "I have told you over and over not to be silly on the chairs. If you weren't being silly you wouldn't have fallen."

But something in my head made me think of just the other day when I made Queenie and Firecracker apologize for incidents that they claimed were accidents but that ended up hurting the other. Then I made them hug. And I thought, if I make them apologize because "we apologize when we hurt someone, accident or not" then shouldn't I do the same?

Firecracker's fall was an accident, but aren't I partially to blame? And putting aside all blame anyway, shouldn't I just apologize and hug her because it would ease her pain a lot more than if I turned around and told her the fall was her fault and to get over it?

Seriously, when you say something that ends up offending someone else, hurting their feelings, making them feel badly about something, shouldn't you just apologize, even if you didn't mean it in that way? Would it make things better to just say sorry? Can't we just swallow our pride, even if the other person seemed too quick to get offended, and just say sorry?

I am trying to. I want my girls to learn not just from what I tell them but from my actions as well. I want to swallow my pride and learn to make people feel better if I hurt them, even if it was so unintentional I can't imagine how it happened. I want to take a lesson from myself (and Snow White) and just Be Polite.

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